Less debate, more action | Letter

Aug 07, 2014

Editor, The Beacon:

In the New York Times on Aug. 4, a lead article titled “As Oysters Die, Climate Policy Goes on the Stump,” we read that “In Washington state, where scientists say a rise in carbon levels is killing shellfish, Gov. Jay Inslee is working to pass climate change policies … ”

This strikes home. If you grew up in Edmonds, as I did, you will perhaps remember digging for clams on our beaches, fishing for crabs, perhaps even gathering oysters.

No more. In spite of long-standing and partially successful efforts to clean up Puget Sound – pollution is destroying sea life. We’re not doing enough.

The local anti-environmentalists denigrate anyone who mentions climate change, and do their best to tell us that more coal trains, more oil trains – more, more, more – are good for us and inevitable, and that it’s clearly impossible for mankind to be effecting global climate.

But they never, ever speak of pollution – the same pollution that is poisoning Puget Sound, and of course, never of the steady spread of paving, development, ever-increasing traffic, de-forestation, (yes, even of Edmonds) that degrades our environment.

Some of this is unavoidable as population increases; we all know that. But is a loudly vocal denial of climate change, and a complete silence regarding pollution and spoliation taking us where we really want to go?

Are we, in fact, simply drifting into a more and more acidic Sound, accepting that some fish caught in the Pacific may be toxic, that continent-sized islands of garbage float in the ocean, that coal companies want to mine the Methow valley, that coal- and oil-carrying trains are about to increase exponentially right here in Edmonds, with all the proven dangers of spills and increase in noise?

I would like to hear less about how climate change isn’t happening, less about the inevitability of more coal and oil trains, less about more, more, more – and a great deal more about shaping our future the way we really want it, about preserving Puget Sound, about treasuring our natural resources.

As it is, “We go on preparing more months and years - precious, perhaps vital … for the locusts to eat.”

Do we want to be the generation that saved the world, or the one that ignored the warnings and allowed the environment to slump into ever-increasing decay?

The generation that provided comfort for those who wished to ignore the degradation of our planet – or the one that did something about it?

Let’s start talking about what we can do.


Nathaniel Brown



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